Alexander Isak and Sven Botman update as Newcastle United land in Saudi Arabia
Newcastle United are in Saudi Arabia as part of their preparations for the Premier League restart.
The Magpies have jetted out to the Middle East for the second time in 2022 - previously visiting Jeddah in January - as part of their preparations for the Premier League restart.
United confirmed their touchdown last night with a squad photo in front of their SAUDIA chartered flight - the club’s official airline partner for the warm weather trip.
Among the players spotted was club-record signing Alexander Isak as he steps up his recovery from a thigh injury.
Isak, after scoring two goals in his opening three games, hasn’t featured for Newcastle since September but it is hoped he’ll be fit and ready for the restart.
Howe said recently: “I’m not sure whether he’ll train with us initially. I think he had a scan the other day on his injury and it looks good, it looks like it has healed.
“Now the process starts of building him up and making sure he’s robust enough to come through training.
“I’m not sure he’ll join in with us initially but we hope by the time the games starts, he’s available for selection.”
Newcastle face Saudi Pro League champions Al-Hilal at the 22,188-capacity Prince Faisal bin Fahad bin Abdulaziz Stadium on Thursday (kick-off 5pm GMT) before welcoming La Liga outfit Rayo Vallecano to St James’ Park a week on Saturday.
Sven Botman is set to feature in those friendlies after having time to recover from the ankle injury picked up during the 1-0 win against Chelsea last time out.
Howe said: “The break for the World Cup gives us the opportunity for a mini pre-season ahead of a crucial part of the season.
“Our trip to Jeddah in January was pivotal for us last season. It galvanised the group, and the hard work the players put in was rewarded in performances and results on our return.
“We will have access to world class facilities as refurbishments at our own training ground continue, and we look forward to facing Al-Hilal and playing in front of our growing numbers of supporters in the region.”